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The Power Of The Nevada Gaming Commission

Oct 22, 2007
The Nevada Gaming Commission was established by the Nevada Legislature to oversee all gaming operations that take place in Nevada. This oversight starts with investigating prospective owners for gambling licenses from a local bar to a mega million-dollar casino. Whether the person is the owner or just a key employee of the corporation in charge of the gaming part of the operation, this person must be approved by the Nevada Gaming Commission. This authority is final and there is no appeal.

Another oversight function is to see that the establishment that has gaming on the premises is operating properly according to the gaming regulations. This includes honest equipment and service people. The Nevada Gaming Commission can make sure that a casino has enough cash on hand to pay out a large slot win or keno win. Another function, but extremely important to the gaming industry, is the settling of disputes between the customer and the casino or operator. This unbiased arbitrator of the dispute will listen to the facts and render a binding decision on both parties to the dispute. This could be for example a dispute about a slot machine and whether the payoff is correct or not. If the machine is found to be malfunctioning the NGC will probably find for the casino. If not the player will get the money. The customer with a complaint can request the gaming people to come and take a look at the problem at any time day or night and seven days a week. This shows how serious the Nevada Gaming Commission is about keeping the gaming problems under control.

When a prospective owner applies for a gaming license they must supply details of their life as if they were trying to get a top-secret clearance. The background check is extensive and the cost is born by the applicant. This can amount to a substantial amount of money for the applicant.

An applicant from a foreign country would have to pay all of the expenses of the investigators and for a language translator. In one such instance, the cost of the background check was over one quarter of a million dollars.

There are some truly bizarre situations that show up in the hearings, which are open to the public. In a companion article to this one some of the stories will be related for fun and enjoyment of the reader.

Just remember that the United States has the Constitution and Nevada has the Nevada Gaming Commission.

The stories from the hearings held by the Nevada Gaming Commission are absolutely spellbinding and just too good not to pass on.

There is the one about a cattle rancher from east of Reno who wanted to put a couple of Poker machines in his small bar. His bar was the center of the small town that he called home. When he appeared the Nevada Gaming Commission board wanted to know more about his armed run in with some folks from the BLM (Bureau of Land Management). He said they were insulting to him and he ran them off with the aid of a rifle. They were mistaken about him killing protected animals on the land. It was later shown that some city folk were using these poor animals as moving targets. When he told his story, he was believed and he got his license.

Another story involved a man of Italian descent who was told he was being turned down for his Nevada gaming license. He asked why and they told him in the public hearing. Seems their investigators had turned up an incident where he and another man had held a man by his feet out of a fifth story window and demanded payment of money owed to them. He was flabbergasted and asked when this was supposed to have taken place. When they told him the date and the city where this unusual collection procedure had take place, he replied I have never been there and you have the wrong guy. It seems he was right and the person who did do this had his name and birthday exactly to the spelling and the date. He was granted his license when he proved he was somewhere else on the day in question.

A final story is the expense of gaining a license with no guarantee of success. An Asian man paid for his investigation to the tune of over a quarter of a million dollars. The expenses include the cost of flights from Nevada to his country and the food and rooms used during the stay there. Another expense that was needed for the American investigators was a translator so they could conduct their interviews. At the time of the hearing there was no decision made on his application at that time.

The final story is the owner of a Reno casino who broke the rules and was told he had one month to close his casino or sell it. Seems he was caught cold putting dollar slugs in another casino's dollar slots. He was getting rid of the slugs that had been played in his slots. That short sighted move cost him dearly as the fire sale of his casino was not the way to sell it.
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